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Message from Dr. Fowler on C-N and coronavirus

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Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

Greetings! All of our newsfeeds are filling up with stories related to the spread of coronavirus. It is a very serious situation for sure. You may have even noticed some colleges and universities have decided to move all instruction on-line while some have even ended their spring semester. The NCAA is limiting attendance at sporting events. Everyone is trying to monitor the situation and take the needed steps to care for their communities.

You need to know that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in our university community as of today. Obviously, if that does occur, we would evaluate the details of those cases and change our response as needed.

We at Carson-Newman are taking this very seriously. The health and well-being of all who study and work in our community is our priority. Because of this, we are taking the following action steps –

  1. We are increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning and disinfecting in high traffic areas.

  2. Additional hand sanitizers have been placed throughout our campus to make frequent hand washing convenient for our campus community.

  3. Some of our faculty, staff, and students traveled to destinations over spring break where there was an increased threat for exposure to the virus. We have asked each of them to self-quarantine for two weeks. Our faculty are working with those who have quarantined themselves to stay current in their classwork.

  4. We are encouraging everyone to use wisdom in their social interactions such as avoiding large crowds and having unnecessary personal contact while remaining vigilant in maintaining good hygiene.

This is a rapidly changing situation.  We have a protocol for planning and responding.  We will continue to closely monitor the situation.  As circumstances merit, we will adjust our strategies for responding.  As changes are made they will be communicated with our entire campus community.  I assure you that the leadership at C-N is carefully processing all new information and coordinating our response with health officials. I am in almost constant contact with presidents at other institutions, who like us, are trying to figure out how best to serve their university communities.

You can be assured that communicating with you is very important. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to download the LiveSafe app (searchable in your mobile device's app store) on your smart phone and/or tablet and identify Carson-Newman University as your school. This is an important tool for communicating with our entire community. We will also utilize email and our website to communicate. Please know that those with the app will receive notifications when they are communicated.

Finally, I want you to know that our leadership at Carson-Newman is attempting to walk wisely and faithfully through this challenging season. Fear is not a great decision-maker. We are choosing to walk in faith instead of fear, pursue peace instead of panic, and develop a posture of worship over worry. I believe that our Father is both good and gracious. I also believe He has the ability to supernaturally protect our C-N community during these serious and challenging days. I ask you to join me in praying to that end and asking for His favor to rest upon us in powerful and obvious ways. Should He allow the coronavirus to impact our community in greater ways, I want everyone to see our faith in a Sovereign God on display through our leadership. In doing so, we will ask the Lord for wisdom and direction to walk well through the challenges while caring compassionately for everyone in our community. The Lord will guide us, provide for us, protect us, grant us wisdom, and abide with us. This gives me great comfort and confidence. My heart is positioned to trust Him to lead us through the days ahead.

Should the situation change in ways that demand a different response, we will communicate those decisions with you quickly and clearly.

You may direct any inquiries to campushealthandsafety@cn.edu or visit the Carson-Newman Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page.

Blessings,

Charles

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